A Review of Sexual Health Web Sites for Adolescents

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2012 Mar;51(3):209-13. doi: 10.1177/0009922811423311. Epub 2011 Sep 23.


Background: The popularity of the Internet for health information and the growing availability of online access make the Internet a compelling medium for health promotion and HIV/STI prevention efforts for adolescents. Many private and federally funded programs have incorporated Web-based approaches and online technologies into their sexual education and HIV/STI prevention efforts for adolescents. These efforts have resulted in numerous Web sites and varied online content. This content is currently understudied and underevaluated. In this study, current sexual health Web sites targeted at adolescents were catalogued and coded.

Methods: Web sites targeted at adolescents were coded for educational content, credibility, usability, as well as interactivity.

Results: A significant amount of sexual health information geared toward teens is available online. All the Web sites reviewed showed deficiencies in educational content, as well as deficiencies in usability, authority, and interactivity. Planned Parenthood's Web site was the most well rounded of the sites assessed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Sex Education / methods*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*